The Robson Valley Chapter of the Back Country Horsemen of ( ) experienced a busy 2021 developing and renovating trails, constructing structures near the Dore River trailhead, and clearing land to build a new horse-friendly rustic on Belle Mountain.
According to a report, the most recent and largest project that the local chapter has undertaken is the Belle Rustic Equine.
It is located 3km up the McIntosh logging road, about 8km to the west of McBride.
In June, less than 2 hectares of land were cleared for 12 campsites, access roads to the sites, as well as the kitchen site. In November, they began to work on the access roads.
“First and foremost, this is a rustic equinewith few amenities but will have corrals, horse water, level sites, and access to trails,” said Chapter President Eileen Macdonald.
Thewill connect to the 47.2km trail network on Belle Mountain that the local chapter has been working on since 2018.
MacDonald said that the recreation site is completely free and user-maintained, which means users are required to ensure theis clean, safe, and welcoming, through taking away all trash, leaving the sites and corrals clean and free from manure, cleaning outhouses when needed, and report the damage they cause.
Non-potable water will also be available from a central area for animal consumption. Manure bins and outhouses will be built and installed when construction resumes.
Plans are being developed for a central kitchen shelter, which will include picnic tables and a wood stove and they are waiting for engineered drawings for the open post and beam structure.
MacDonalds said that the structure, as well as the outhouse, will be designed with accessibility. Open kitchen shelters without walls are more versatile, allowing more room for social distancing, small family gatherings at picnic tables, and for events, as there is no limitation to square footage when people have the option to stand outside and still partake (depending on COVID restrictions).
There will be a centrally-placed fire pit just outside the kitchen shelter.
“This encourages environmentally responsible conservation of wood resources and social interaction, decreases wildfire risk, and importantly it decreases volunteer workload,” MacDonald said.
The communal campfire would provide campers a spot to get together and socialize.
While theis intended to be free, MacDonald says they encourage people to volunteer, purchase a BCHBC membership, or donate for maintenance to ensure the upkeep of the and its continual use.
Theshould hopefully be ready to use by August 2023. This is a flexible date due to complications caused by supply chain issues brought by the COVID pandemic. Visitors will be limited to a 14-day stay, similar to other BC recreation sites.